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Hubs end Leopards' 5-year conference reign

October 17, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

HAGERSTOWN -- Scores more than doubled the 39 degrees it was at tee-off time at Black Rock Golf Course on Friday in the MVAL Antietam Conference Championship.

Ski hats, gloves and layers of clothing -- except for a few who thought they were in Bermuda with shorts -- were the norm and scores soared well above the par-72 standard at Black Rock.

In the end, it was a mini-surprise in the team championship as North Hagerstown's 343 strokes beat Smithsburg by three, ending the Leopards' five-year string of Antietam titles.

Freshman Aaron Staley shot an 81, followed by Conner Spessard with an 83, Becky Gossard with an 85 and Jason Moody at 94 for the Hubs.

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"I wouldn't have expected it," said North coach Joel Rice of the title. "Smithsburg is such a tough team to beat. We had three strong performances despite the weather and our fourth came in and helped."

The race for the low medalist came down to the 18th hole between Staley and Smithsburg's Chris Bushey.

Staley had an early 3-stroke lead at the turn. But Bushey hung around and, on the 18th, carded a par while Staley had to settle for a bogey out of the sand trap, just missing a 40-foot putt for par.

The par gave Bushey an 81, and he was declared the low medalist based on the USGA tie-breaking method of comparable back nines. He had a 39 to Staley's 42.

"Putts were tough to read because (the greens) have been punched and it was just so cold out there," said Bushey.

A.J. Minnich finished with an 83, Matt Snowden had 90 and Kyle Huntzberry and Logan McSherry each had 92 for the Leopards.

"I was using handwarmers, gloves and everything to stay warm," said Staley. "I chunked a lot of shots."

Catoctin finished third at 364, followed by Williamsport at 374, Clear Spring at 378, Boonsboro at 383 and Brunswick at 388. South Hagerstown's card was incomplete with only three available players.

Zach Weber led Williamsport with an 83 and Troy Hartle led Boonsboro with a 90, but the most overall pleasing performance may have been turned in by Clear Spring's Tyler Brown.

Lucky to break 120 most times as a freshman two years ago, Brown carved out a career-best 82.

MVAL Antietam Championships



Friday at Black Rock, par 72

Team scores: North Hagerstown 343, Smithsburg 346, Catoctin 364, Williamsport 374, Clear Spring 378, Boonsboro 383, Brunswick 388, South Hagerstown inc.

North Hagerstown: Aaron Staley 81, Conner Spessard 83, Becky Gossard 85, Jason Moody 94.

Smithsburg: Chris Bushey 81, A.J. Minnich 83, Matt Snowden 90, Kyle Huntzberry 92, Logan McSherry 92.

Catoctin: Garrett Ellis 83, Christian Yanoski 86, Joey O'Neill 93, Dylan Stull 102.

Williamsport: Zach Weber 83, Chris Karr 92, Scot Drury 94, Adam Eichelberger 102, Ryan Crabtree 102.

Clear Spring: Tyler Brown 82, Brian Lesher 93, Nick Hill 100, Brent Mentzer 103.

Boonsboro: Troy Hartle 90, Tyler Thompson 96, Jeremy Hardy 97, David Wilbraham 100.

Brunswick: Mike Ververka 84, Josh Merriman 100, J.T. Wagner 101, Kurtis Heaton 103.

South Hagerstown: Luke Shindle 97, Eric Sprecher 98, George Canova 100.

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